Cocktails seem to bring up the image of frozen margaritas for me, and when I’m layered up in warm clothes, all I want to be drinking is some hot chocolate. This season, plain old hot chocolate just won’t make the cut. It’s time to spice it up (or should I say spike it up).
And there’s no reason to keep your hot drinks kid-friendly this holiday season (Especially this year. We survived 2020, and we definitely need our alcohol.)
These are the perfect drinks to make for a dinner party at home or just a pick-me-up drink one evening for yourself as you watch Hallmark Christmas movies (Nobody can watch those movies sober).
Spiced Apple Cider Toddy
This is the drink I want every time I have a mild cough or cold. It feels like a blanket for your insides and instantly warms you up. This makes 4 servings.
2 cups water
2 cups apple cider
4 tablespoons honey (I use dark brown sugar)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
4 tea bags/tablespoons of black tea leaves
Juice of ½ a lime
6 ounces (180ml) of brandy
Pour the water and apple cider into a pot and bring to a light simmer. Add the tea bags/tea leaves and turn off the heat.
As the tea steeps, add the honey, cinnamon, ginger, lime juice. Stir well.
Last, add the brandy and strain into 4 cups, and garnish with cinnamon sticks.
The Best Mulled Wine
The smell of mulled wine is so divine and festive. It fills up your entire house and tastes so perfectly tart and rich. I prefer mine to be infused with orange and cloves, but you can spice it up just how you like. I also do something unconventional and add dark chocolate liqueur because I love the unique rich flavor. You can always just add brandy instead!
1 bottle (750ml) of dry red wine (cabernet sauvignon)
1 sliced orange (with peel)
½ grapefruit peel
5 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
4 tablespoons of light honey
¼ cup brandy OR dark chocolate liqueur
Slices of oranges for garnish
Combine all ingredients on a pot and bring to a gentle simmer. It shouldn’t get too hot, or you run the danger of the alcohol boiling off (what’s the fun in that?).
Cover with a lid and let it steep for an hour.
Strain and serve warm with orange slices as garnish
This is my favorite of the lot. It’s decadent, almost mouth-numbingly sweet, and exactly what you need to feel like it’s really Christmas. I recommend you really pile on the whipped cream. You deserve it.
1.5 cups of hot strong black coffee
1 tablespoon of light brown sugar
½ cup of heavy cream
1 tablespoon of confectioner’s sugar
2 ounces of Irish whiskey
2 ounces of Bailey’s Irish Cream
Mix the strong black coffee with the light brown sugar and pour it into mugs.
Add Irish whiskey and Bailey’s Irish Cream to the coffee.
Whip heavy cream with confectioner’s sugar. Dollop on top of the drink and serve.